If you associate bamboo in home decor with a cheesy “tropical” look, think again. Stylish, environmentally friendly and versatile bamboo is turning up in many aspects of home decor these days.
Trendy bamboo styles are appearing in flooring, window treatments, furniture, screens, countertops, and in accents from rugs to bowls, vases, picture frames, coasters, and cutting boards. The “tiki” look is out, but the newer bamboo styling is elegant and functional. The look is earthy, richly textured, warm, natural and relaxed, and the design team is all over it!
Bamboo products can be found and bought on a host of websites, most of them American, and many of them from California. Check outwww.totallybamboo.comfor ideas. And while fake palms and the “tropical” look is still out there, we are impressed with the stylish bamboo products of all types that are starting to appear on the shelves of many different types of local home decor retail outlets.
For example, the humble “matchstick” bamboo blind from your days at university has come a long way. Check out a Chinese site,www.123bamboo.com, or an American site,www.paylessdecor.comto get an idea of the huge diversity in bamboo blinds. The blind can be finely woven or deeply textured; they can be gorgeously patterned with horizontal lines or rectangular shapes. In Toronto, check out Bamboo Bazaar on Davenport Road (www.bamboobazaar.ca) for bamboo blinds. Colour Your
World stores carry Hunter Douglas’ “woven wood” shades, made of bamboo and grasses. See www.hunterdouglas.com. If you’re considering new flooring, bamboo floors are gaining in popularity. And why not? It’s strong, lasts forever, and looks beautiful with its distinctive nodes. The flooring is made from Chinese bamboo, which is cut into strips before drying and laminated under pressure. (It is sustainable because it comes from a plant in the grass family that can be harvested every three to five years, rather than the several decades needed by hardwood trees.) Bamboo’s natural colour is blond, but you can purchase “carbonized” or smoked bamboo, which is naturally darker in tone. Colours are also possible, but adding colour to the bamboo makes it a little softer.